This post refers to the statistics we published for 2014. If you would like to see the latest responsiveness figures on WriteToThem, please visit www.writetothem.com/stats/.
Of course, there are many factors that you’ll consider before you cast your vote in the general election. But we think that one important quality in an MP is that they respond to their constituents.
So you may wish to check your own MP’s performance on the latest WriteToThem responsiveness league table. Just put in your postcode and you can see how they did in 2014.
Where the data comes from
When you send a message to your MP using our site WriteToThem, you’ll receive an automated email two weeks later, asking whether or not you received a response. Every year, we take the data from these surveys and use it to assemble our responsiveness rankings.
You might think that MPs would be doing the best they can this year, in the run-up to the election. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case: overall, responsiveness has fallen a percentage point since last year, with 46% of emails receiving no reply.
You can find all our data and methodology on the league table page.
We know that messages sent to WriteToThem may not reflect all messages sent to an MP; we also know that not every message will require an answer. However, we think that, taken overall, our sample size of over 36,000 interactions can be seen as indicative.
Image: Michael Scott (CC)
You have rated Rory Stewart as medium which surprises me as he has never failed to reply to any of the many letters I have sent him. I know he only replies to ones from constituents so you have to include your postcode so maybe that’s the problem.
WriteToThem is set up very carefully so that users can only write to their own MPs, so it’s definitely not that.
As stated, though, we do know that not every email requires a response; it’s possible that Mr Stewart received a higher than usual proportion of messages that fell into that category.
Most of what you do is great, and I’m very grateful for it, but your report of results from using WriteToThem.com is extremely misleading. My MP in the Parliament just ended was Stephen Williams (Bristol West). I have been writing to him using his Westminster email address, and he always replies. I have met him once during the last year, and talked to his office staff a couple of times – but for personal contact I do have the advantage that his constituency office is only a few hundred yards from my flat. Your WriteToThem web site and emails about it need a disclaimer clearly visible, telling us that there are other ways to contact our MPs, and even (which will be the dead hand of truth for you) showing us how to contact our MPs without using the message system on your web site.
Thanks for your comments. Of course, at the moment, no-one can contact their MP, as Parliament has dissolved, but yes, we take your point.
Our press releases on this story have all included the line:
– and they do make it very clear on exactly what data we’ve used to draw these conclusions.
We also hope that we are as transparent as possible in publishing the exact number of emails considered for each MP in the rankings table, with some details about our methodology directly beneath it.
This blog post and our newsletter do both explicitly mention that the data is taken from people who used WriteToThem. We really do strive to be as accurate as possible in our communications, while still striking a balance with clarity and conciseness.